When it comes to marketing your business, you know you need a website, but what exactly does that entail? As you start to research website design, you might begin hearing terms like PPC, leads, SERP rankings. When all you want to do is take some inventory photos, load the pictures to your website, and sell the cars, it can all feel overwhelming. The reality is, when designing a website, there is a lot to consider.

Think about your own experience when searching the internet. What do you like? What do you dislike? What makes you buy something, and what makes you close the window in frustration before the page even loads? From the speed it takes to load the page to the colors used on the page, a lot of subtle choices in the recipe of the website create an excellent experience.

Here at fusionZONE Automotive, we make it our priority to stay on top of current expectations and tactics so you don’t have to. You want a website that works and is easy to use. That’s where we come in. Here are some of the most common mistakes web builders make and how we avoid them.

1. Create An Experience

When designing the physical layout of your showroom, you’ve probably thought long and hard about your customer’s experience. How your customers are greeted upon arrival, how your signage appears, and how potential buyers are toured through your inventory all create an experience. Maybe the pastries and coffee are carefully laid out and chosen to help customers enjoy their time at your dealership. Your website needs to be equally organized.

If a little is good, then more is better, and the most is best. Or is it? Have you ever gone to a website only to be visually overwhelmed? There’s simply too much going on. A common instinct is to try and tell everybody everything at once. The result is telling nobody a thing. A clean and visually appealing website will create a feeling of comfort with which people will want to engage. Your customers will feel assured that a quick scan of the page will allow them to find what they’re searching for.

2. Don’t Forget To Read Goldilocks

Just as having too much going on can overwhelm visitors, offering too little can frustrate visitors. Like all elements of design, web design is about balance. Your website needs to offer a simple design that is intuitive and inspires confidence. Think about the web pages you like and why. When you visit your website, do you get the same experience? If you aren’t sure, ask a friend who’s never used your site to sit next to you and search for your product. Watch them navigate various pages and see what struggles they encounter.

User experience is something we often overlook or don’t know how to measure. If you owned a restaurant, you could stand at the door and watch people as they dine, seeing that their food comes out on time and staff is readily available to assist them. Just because you have a website doesn’t mean you can’t follow the same concept. Implement a chat agent to greet users. Use a heat map to analyze website traffic. As more users interact with your website, make sure the pages offer just the right amount of ambiance and information.

3. Pay Attention to CTAs and Limit Pop Ups

We’ve all experienced it. We’ve pulled up a website. We’re looking at a picture or reading an article when suddenly — a pop up appears on the page with a discount offer or a form to sign up for a newsletter. We haven’t even bought anything yet, and we’re being inundated with ads and opportunities to learn more. Unfortunately, having a strong call to action and building an online community through a regular newsletter are important marketing tools. So, what do we do?

As is often the case, timing is everything. Give website visitors a few minutes to get situated. Just as you would invite them in the door and offer them a comfortable place to sit or something cold to drink in person, allow website visitors to become familiar with your website before you ask them to sign up for a newsletter. Once they’ve been introduced to your business and found what they’re looking for, they’ll be more likely to seek another positive experience with your business and save on their next visit by subscribing to your newsletter.

4. Looks Could Kill Your Business

The layout of content on the page, what the content says, and the use of white space is key to the overall performance of your website. When building your website, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about SEO and how important it is to your business’s success. The first thing to do is define SEO. “SEO” stands for search engine optimization, which means optimizing your website to show on search results pages (ideally, near the top). Essentially, when someone searches Google you or businesses like yours, do you pop up? (For more on SEO, check out this video.)

The text on the various pages of your website needs to be informative, appealing to the eye, and strategically written to help Google find you. A common instinct is to stuff sentences with extra words to help Google rankings (known as “keyword stuffing”), resulting in content that is hard to read. Just as it’s easy to overwhelm visitors with pop-ups and bombard them with images, you can also overwhelm with the words on the page and even risk sounding unnatural. The content also needs to be updated regularly to keep you fresh and relevant.

By considering and understanding these four elements of successful website design, you can provide an experience that your customers will enjoy and keep them coming back to your dealership for all of their automotive needs for miles to come.

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